You can access Cerro Chato from the property. The front desk at Green Lagoon Lodge. If you need more ideas for activities in the La Fortuna area or are still looking for that perfect hotel, be sure to check out our comprehensive Destination post, La Fortuna: What to Expect from Costa Rica’s Most Popular Destination. It took us 5.5 hours; 3 hours up and 2.5 down. We did not go down to the lake due to time, but I heard that the path to the left is the worst of the two. Either way we would have to go back down that way even if we were to enter through the Green Lagoon Lodge…. Is the Cerra Chato hike open or closed. It was very muddy and lots of climbing and scrambling up. You can see it on Trip Advisor. It took us an hour and a half to to the top with minimal breaks (we are pretty avid hikers), but we found this hike to be a good challenge! But there’s another intriguing sight nearby that is worth a visit. Book your tickets online for Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano), Arenal Volcano National Park: See 671 reviews, articles, and 548 photos of Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano), ranked No.18 on Tripadvisor among 46 attractions in Arenal Volcano National Park. We were surprised how hard the hike was and are relatively fit people. Timpanogas in Utah. Yes it is technically private property of the government and technically blocked off due to weather making the hiking path more difficult. Arenal Volcano’s little brother Cerro Chato, is a dormant volcano with a crater and lake on the southeast side of Arenal. From the west is the Arenal Observatory Lodge; this route takes longer to reach the summit and the entrance fee is also $10. We were a bit stressed/nervous with all the signs and the 3 barb wire fences… but this is our first time in Costa Rica and who knows if we will ever come back, so we decided to give it a try. Chato Volcano, sometimes called "Cerro Chato" (Spanish for "Flat Hill"), is an inactive volcano in north-western Costa Rica north-west of San José, in the province of Alajuela, canton of San Carlos, and district of La Fortuna. It took us 5 hours to get up and down again. Hi Lara, We have not done the hike from the Green Lagoon Lodge side so aren’t exactly sure about the views. Mt. Time and difficulty is somewhat of a factor, but we are up for the challenge for sure! I wrote more about it in blog if you want more info: https://whereintheworldiswelter.wordpress.com/2018/12/10/day-3-cerro-chato-hanging-bridges-and-monteverde/. (See recent comments below for more information.) There is another access point right before the Arenal Observatory Lodge – this is not the same as the Observatory and is run by different people. Visitors used to be able to hike to the crater of Rincon de la Vieja. Took us about 5 hours. The Chato Volcano is located close to La Fortuna. I definitely used the app to make sure I was going the right way. Ascend through dense primary forest, where it is common to spot a great variety of flora and fauna, before arriving at the summit of Cerro Chato - … Do you think it is feasible to do cerro chato and rio celeste in a single day? We didn’t realize that this was not a part of the observatory. At times, it was difficult for us to get our footing as there was no place to step and no ropes to help guide us. Experience the natural beauty of La Fortuna as you navigate the trails and passes that wind through its stunning landscapes. Before the entrance to the observatory, a sign son the left aid Cherro Chato tral to Adrenal Lake. (The balance of $88.00 per person in cash must be paid the day of the tour) Of course, it is not an easy one, but the most rewarding hikes seldom are. I would expect the average hike to take 5-6 hours. If you look at Google Maps (link here), it will make sense. It is NOT for people who are out of shape! My son and I hiked Cerro Chato on August 9th. It is easy to follow. The guards at the green lagoon parking lot will tell you the trail is closed and it’s illegal and blah blah. (the locals told us they still hike it regularly). The view was amazing and the lake was cold but felt awesome after the hike. Was thinking going to the Observatory to also check out the hanging bridges and waterfall, but want to access from the best point. It was a challenging hike but we love it. The best time to hike Cerro Chato is during the dry season, December to April, because this is when rain is least likely. Hi Franzi, You can take the bus from the station in downtown La Fortuna and get dropped off at the road that leads to the Observatory, but it is too long of a walk from there. Hello! Here’s a guide to 10 volcanoes around the world you can walk on. Hi Trent, The most difficult hike we’ve ever done was Mt. Here’s a little more explanation. Hope that helps. I am in pretty good shape and made it from the Lodge to the top in about an hour. I thought that was from the east on the waterfall side, but I guess from what you’re telling me, the more difficult hike is from the west / observatory side – is this correct? You can’t really call the path to the lagoon a path. Left at 8 am, ran into about 12 other hikers. However, it was still an awesome hike and a great experience. La Fortuna: What to Expect from Costa Rica’s Most Popular Destination, Oropendola Waterfall: An Easy-to-Access Waterfall in Guanacaste, Palo Verde National Park: A Wildlife Tour Through Guanacaste’s Wetlands, Playa Avellanas: Sun, Surf, and Fun in Guanacaste, Playa Dantita: A Serene White Sand Beach in Guanacaste, https://whereintheworldiswelter.wordpress.com/2018/12/10/day-3-cerro-chato-hanging-bridges-and-monteverde/. It’s a strenuous trek that is rewarding if you’re into hiking (we loved it), but is definitely not for everyone. The highlight of your standard-issue mountain hike tends to be the views from the summit. Thanks Cat. We were not true hikers prior to this hike. Stop for lunch and then head down to the Observatory Park. We encountered several people that turned around before getting to the peak… saying it was just too much. This tour departs at 8:00 AM. Thank you! Parts of the trial were vertical ups and downs hanging onto tree roots and hoping for the best! Be sure to bring along trekking poles or a walking stick or opt for one of the many easier hikes in the area instead. It had recent rained but the trails were in good shape. The hike was VERY difficult and we are athletic people. This left us a bit confused but he explained that half the hike is on the Green Lagoon Property and the other half is on “state land”. Its a series of roots, mounds, trees and slippery slopes, VERY steep and even harder than the last half hour to the top. Our team visits these countries often to be sure that we bring you the most current and updated information on accommodations, activities, restaurants and more. Definitely sounds like people shouldn’t try it unless they are in very good shape- yikes! There is the possibility that we would run into Forrest Rangers that would turn us around. Though quite a few miles away, its green forested outline is visible from the downtown alongside Arenal Volcano. Shortly after you enter the forest, you’ll come to the barbed wire fence but it’s easy to walk around. Not closed and definitely worth it. The staff of Arenal Observatory Lodge will not give you any information about the trail. Sorry Jen and Matt, but after reading all the posts, I’m a bit confused. Thanks for sharing your experience, Mike. Do you know if the access from the green lagoon is still open? Hi John, As far as we know, access is still closed from Arenal Observatory but you can go from Green Lagoon Lodge (see recent comment in late October) and the private trail that starts before the entrance to the Observatory is still open. Parked at the car park of said lodge and paid 10$ at the reception there (you officially pay to hike the “Fortuna Observatory Hike”). Arenal Tours - Hike Cerro Chato Volcano, Costa Rica Cerro Chato is a dormant volcano that flanks the southeast side of the Arenal Volcano. Hi Jenn and Matt, I don’t think you’d have to pay at the Green Lagoon side if you entered one way and exited the other. – Make sure to have good tread on you hiking shoes. Thanks in advance. We just cleared it a little, and managed to continue. Although Cerro Chato is dormant, it has a stunning emerald green crater lake that looks almost out of this world. Majority of the hike is very muddy and slippery. The front desk reception was most helpful. Otherwise which one is the best in your opinion? The road entrance to Green Lagoon Lodge is on the right when entering the La Fortuna waterfall parking lot up a hill, the road is a little rough with some potholes. I will be in CR next week (Dec 20-27) and want to hike the more challenging/harder of the two routes. I think the trail also called Toucans Trail. I just went yesterday starting at Sendero los Tucanes (just before the observatory gate). Zoom in to see Green Lagoon Lodge and ignore the driving directions. I recommend finding a walking stick for help. We started from the Green Lagoon Lodge , which is on a bumpy road just before the La Fortuna waterfall entrance on the right. We paid at the reception and they gave us wrist bands and they pointed us in the right direction (which is definitely a rip off ). The trail is well marked and if you access it from the Arenal Observatory, they will give you a trail map. One of the guys at the green lagoon reception knows what’s up and will tell you if there are rangers on the mountain and if you can climb cerro chato or not. We checked into the Green Lagoon Lodge and inquired at the front desk about the Chato hike, his response yes and no there are no guarantees. We were shocked, but got turned around. My sister and I just did el senderos de los toucanes 3 days ago (29 january 2019). Hi Matt and Jenn. From there, I hiked down the other path back to the Observatory and met my friends who did not want to do the hike. Cerro Chato is a dormant stratovolcano located southeast of very active Volcan Arenal. There is parking available and the guys in the booth can answer any questions you might have. So technically you are not supposed to, which is why a guide won’t take you, but people are still going by themselves. My girlfriend and I are very active and hike regularly. If you don’t make it the whole way, don’t fret. Lunch is even included at a Costa Rican restaurant for added value. When it became tough or we began to wonder if it was worth it, we would remind ourselves that this was a once in a lifetime experience. Is there parking there? The first 0.75 miles is an easy but a semi-steep hot/sunny road to the observatory. With 1100 m. above sea level, the Cerro Chato Volcano is the older brother of the active and magnificent Arenal Volcano. Further into the forest, El Ceibo trail is an extended loop trail that starts at and … We went in through the observatory and they told us the trail was closed but said that we could still do it at our own risk. The lagoon was beautiful, but freezing. we got turned back the first time we tried to hike it but the guy told us to come back the next day and we were able to go. We would definitely recommend the hike – it was one of the best things we did in Costa Rica! I hope you were able to access Cerro Chato. We haven’t heard anything about it lately. 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